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News Release Information

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Contacts Technical information: Media contact:
  • (415) 625-2270

Average Energy Prices, San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, February 2016

Gasoline prices averaged $2.440 a gallon in the San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose area in February 2016, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Richard J. Holden noted that area gasoline prices were down 34.2 cents compared to last February when they averaged $2.782 per gallon. San Francisco area households paid an average of 18.7 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity in February 2016, down from 22.2 cents per kWh in February 2015. The average cost of utility (piped) gas at $1.331 per therm in February was 13.3 cents less than $1.464 price per therm spent last year. (Data in this release are not seasonally adjusted; accordingly, over-the-year-analysis is used throughout.)

At $2.440 a gallon, San Francisco area consumers paid 33.1 percent more than the $1.833 national average in February 2016. A year earlier, consumers in the San Francisco area paid 20.5 percent more than the national average for a gallon of gasoline. The local price of a gallon of gasoline has ranged from 8.6 to 33.1 percent above the national average in the month of February during the past five years. (See chart 1.)

The 18.7 cents per kWh San Francisco households paid for electricity in February 2016 was 39.6 percent more than the nationwide average of 13.4 cents per kWh. Last February, electricity costs were 60.9 percent higher in San Francisco compared to the nation. In each of the past five years, prices paid by San Francisco area consumers for electricity exceeded the U.S. average by at least 39.6 percent in the month of February. (See chart 2.)

Prices paid by San Francisco area consumers for utility (piped) gas, commonly referred to as natural gas, were $1.331 per therm, or 48.7 percent above the national average in February 2016 ($0.895 per therm). A year earlier, area consumers paid 45.4 percent more price per therm for natural gas compared to the nation. In the past five years, the per therm cost for natural gas in February in the San Francisco area has varied between 14.9 percent and 48.7 percent above the U.S. average. (See chart 3.)

The San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, Calif. metropolitan area consists of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, and Sonoma Counties in California.
Technical Note

Average prices are estimated from Consumer Price Index (CPI) data for selected commodity series to support the research and analytic needs of CPI data users. Average prices for electricity, utility (piped) gas, and gasoline are published monthly for the U.S. city average, the 4 regions, the 3 population size classes, 10 region/size-class cross-classifications, and the 14 largest local index areas. For electricity, average prices per kilowatt-hour (kWh) are published. For utility (piped) gas, average prices per therm, are published. For gasoline, the average price per gallon is published. Average prices for commonly available grades of gasoline are published as well as the average price across all grades.

All eligible prices are converted to a price per normalized quantity. These prices are then used to estimate a price for a defined fixed quantity. The average price per kilowatt-hour represents the total bill divided by the kilowatt-hour usage. The total bill is the sum of all items applicable to all consumers appearing on an electricity bill including, but not limited to, variable rates per kWh, fixed costs, taxes, surcharges, and credits. This calculation also applies to the average price per therm for utility (piped) gas.

Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: 202-691-5200; Federal Relay Service: 800-877-8339.

Table 1. Average prices for gasoline, electricity, and utility (piped) gas, San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose and the United States, February 2015-February 2016, not seasonally adjusted
Year and month Gasoline per gallon Electricity per kWh Utility (piped) gas per therm
San Francisco area United States San Francisco area United States San Francisco area United States


$2.782 $2.308 $0.222 $0.138 $1.464 $1.007


3.334 2.544 0.224 0.136 1.378 0.985


3.200 2.545 0.225 0.137 1.534 0.947


3.692 2.832 0.233 0.137 1.485 0.930


3.465 2.889 0.233 0.143 1.574 0.942


3.523 2.893 0.233 0.142 1.497 0.933


3.389 2.745 0.233 0.142 1.577 0.932


3.065 2.463 0.227 0.141 1.499 0.921


2.856 2.357 0.227 0.136 1.499 0.909


2.769 2.249 0.172 0.134 1.227 0.903


2.688 2.125 0.172 0.133 1.235 0.892


2.668 2.034 0.187 0.134 1.299 0.898


2.440 1.833 0.187 0.134 1.331 0.895


Last Modified Date: Thursday, March 17, 2016